For this remote resort in Ise-Shima, Japan, lighting designers Lighting Planners Associates were faced with an unusual, yet intriguing mandate: to establish a dialogue with moonlight. Key to the guest experience at the Kerry Hill Architects-designed retreat was that a walk around the grounds after dark should be calming and introspective; clearly, conventional lighting plans would be inappropriate.

The challenge of the project was how to create and maintain rich, high-quality darkness in diverse settings while ensuring personal safety was never compromised. Throughout the property, the spacing between tree uplights and bollards is set to respond to different modes of travel—car, cart, or foot. Along the communal corridors and pathways that connect the buildings, small lanterns are deliberately placed to produce a rhythm of light and shadow. At the hot-springs pool, underwater fiber optic lighting gently marks the boundary between water and land. The overall result is light that suggests space, rather than harshly defines it.